« PreviousContinue »
Opinion of the Court.
v. Kraemer, 334 U. S. 1. The Federal Act thus prohibits bargaining agents it authorizes from using their position and power to destroy colored workers' jobs in order to bestow them on white workers. And courts can protect those threatened by such an unlawful use of power granted by a federal act.
Here, as in the Steele case, colored workers must look to a judicial remedy to prevent the sacrifice or obliteration of their rights under the Act. For no adequate administrative remedy can be afforded by the National Railroad Adjustment or Mediation Board. The claims here cannot be resolved by interpretation of a bargaining agreement so as to give jurisdiction to the Adjustment Board under our holding in Slocum v. Delaware, L. & W. R. Co., 339 U. S. 239. This dispute involves the validity of the contract, not its meaning. Nor does the dispute hinge on the proper craft classification of the porters so as to call for settlement by the National Mediation Board under our holding in Switchmen's Union v. National Mediation Board, 320 U. S. 297. For the contention here with which we agree is that the racial discrimination practiced is unlawful, whether colored employees are classified as "train porters," "brakemen," or something else. Our conclusion is that the District Court has jurisdiction and power to issue necessary injunctive orders notwithstanding the provisions of the NorrisLaGuardia Act. We need add nothing to what was said about inapplicability of that Act in the Steele case and in Graham v. Brotherhood of Firemen, 338 U. S. 232, 239– 240.
Bargaining agents who enjoy the advantages of the Railway Labor Act's provisions must execute their trust without lawless invasions of the rights of other workers. We agree with the Court of Appeals that the District
547 Stat. 70,29 U.S.C. $$ 101 et seq.
MINTON, J., dissenting.
Court had jurisdiction to protect these workers from the racial discrimination practiced against them. On remand, the District Court should permanently enjoin the Railroad and the Brotherhood from use of the contract or any other similar discriminatory bargaining device to oust the train porters from their jobs. In fashioning its decree the District Court is left free to consider what provisions are necessary to afford these employees full protection from future discriminatory practices of the Brotherhood. However, in drawing its decree, the District Court must bear in mind that disputed questions of reclassification of the craft of "train porters” are committed by the Railway Labor Act to the National Mediation Board. Switchmen's Union v. National Mediation Board, supra.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals reversing that of the District Court is affirmed, and the cause is remanded to the District Court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
MR. JUSTICE MINTON, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE REED join, dissenting.
The right of the Brotherhood to represent railroad employees existed before the Railway Labor Act was passed. The Act simply protects the employees when this right of representation is exercised. If a labor organization is designated by a majority of the employees in a craft or class as bargaining representative for that craft or class and is so recognized by the carrier, that labor organization has a duty to represent in good faith all workers of the craft. Steele v. Louisville & N. R. Co., 323 U. S. 192, 202. In the Steele case, the complainant was a locomotive fireman; his duties were wholly those of a fireman. The Brotherhood in that case represented the "firemen's craft,” but would not admit Steele as a mem
MINTON, J., dissenting.
ber because he was a Negro. As the legal representative of his craft of firemen, the Brotherhood made a contract with the carrier that discriminated against him because of his race. This Court held the contract invalid. It would have been the same if the Brotherhood had discriminated against him on some other ground, unrelated to race. It was the Brotherhood's duty "to act on behalf of all the employees which, by virtue of the statute, it undertakes to represent.” Steele, supra, at 199.
In the instant case the Brotherhood has never purported to represent the train porters. The train porters have never requested that the Brotherhood represent them. Classification of the job of "train porter" was established more than forty years ago and has never been disputed. At that time, the principal duties of the train porters were cleaning the cars, assisting the passengers, and helping to load and unload baggage; only a small part of the duties were those of brakemen, who were required to have higher educational qualifications. As early as 1921, the train porters organized a separate bargaining unit through which they have continuously bargained with the carrier here involved; they now have an existing contract with this carrier. Although the carriers gradually imposed upon the train porters more of the duties of brakemen until today most of their duties are those of brakemen, they have never been classified as brakemen.
The majority does not say that the train porters are brakemen and therefore the Brotherhood must represent them fairly, as was held in Steele. Whether they belong to the Brotherhood is not determinative of the latter's duties of representation, if it represents the craft of brakemen and if the train porters are brakemen. Steele was not a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen and could not be because of race—the same reason that the train porters cannot belong to the
MINTON, J., dissenting.
Brotherhood of Trainmen. But Steele was a fireman, while the train porters are not brakemen.
The Brotherhood stoutly opposes the contention that it is the representative of the train porters. For the Court so to hold would be to fly in the face of the statute (45 U. S. C. $ 152, Ninth) and the holding of this Court in General Committee v. Missouri-K.-T. R. Co., 320 U. S. 323, 334-336.* The majority avoids the dispute in terms but embraces it in fact by saying it is passing on the validity of the contract. If this is true, it is done at the instance of persons for whom the Brotherhood was not contracting and was under no duty to contract. The train porters had a duly elected bargaining representative, which fact operated to exclude the Brotherhood from representing the craft. Steele, supra, at 200; Virginian R. Co. v. System Federation, 300 U. S. 515, 548.
The majority reaches out to invalidate the contract, not because the train porters are brakemen entitled to
**Nor does § 2, Second make justiciable what otherwise is not. It provides that ‘All disputes between a carrier or carriers and its or their employees shall be considered, and, if possible, decided, with all expedition, in conference between representatives designated and authorized so to confer, respectively, by the carrier or carriers and by the employees thereof interested in the dispute. As we have already pointed out, $ 2, Ninth, after providing for a certification by the Mediation Board of the particular craft or class representative, states that the carrier shall treat with the representative so certified as the representative of the craft or class for the purposes of this Act.'
"It is clear from the legislative history of $ 2, Ninth that it was designed not only to help free the unions from the influence, coercion and control of the carriers but also to resolve a wide range of jurisdictional disputes between unions or between groups of employees. H. Rep. No. 1944, supra, p. 2; S. Rep. No. 1065, 73d Cong., 2d Sess., p. 3. However wide may be the range of jurisdictional disputes embraced within $ 2, Ninth, Congress did not select the courts to resolve them."
MINTON, J., dissenting.
fair representation by the Brotherhood, but because they are Negroes who were discriminated against by the carrier at the behest of the Brotherhood. I do not understand that private parties such as the carrier and the Brotherhood may not discriminate on the ground of race. Neither a state government nor the Federal Government may do so, but I know of no applicable federal law which says that private parties may not. That is the whole problem underlying the proposed Federal Fair Employment Practices Code. Of course, this Court by sheer power can say this case is Steele, or even lay down a code of fair employment practices. But sheer power is not a substitute for legality. I do not have to agree with the discrimination here indulged in to question the legality of today's decision.
I think there was a dispute here between employees of the carrier as to whether the Brotherhood was the representative of the train porters, and that this is a matter to be resolved by the National Mediation Board, not the courts. I would remand this case to the District Court to be dismissed as nonjusticiable.